05 May 2015

Again and again


I can't resist sharing these on here. A simple cookie made from good butter, oat flour (mostly), and a customizable spice mix (I went for cardamom and orange zest--Again--), they are cut with a nice dose of salt and sweetened just enough to round things out. With no eggs or leavening to measure out, they come together in a flash and will be churned out in my mixer again and again. That's the kind of stuff that should be talked about. Taking them for a dip in dark chocolate is the icing on the cake, but of course optional, as you do have to wait for them to set up a bit. Once they do, they hold up nicely for a few days in a container. 


I'm just crazy about this shortbread and its reliance on oat flour.  Experimenting with different flours is always on my radar but oat flour is made in 5 seconds by opening your pantry. Simply grind rolled oats in a coffee grinder finely to yield your desired amount. My other secret? Don't clean the grinder first. You'll get a little coffee flavor into your spiced shortbread. Surfing around the web to do a bit more research before diving into this, I found that traditional Scottish shortbread, was originally often made with oat flour, as it was a food of the poorer class. Little did they know they were tapping into the secret to tender cookies: lower the gluten. 



Lastly, I'm on ShopRite's Blog this week with a little homage to mason jars and baby's breath. Check it out : )

SPICED OAT FLOUR SHORTBREAD
Adapted from Food52
Yeild: 1 1/2 dozen

Notes: The original recipe uses lavender--I didn't have any. Spicing these is of course your preference. I like a little of a few things: almond, orange, cardamom, ginger, as I think they complement the chocolate dip. You can try other blends though. Also, creaming the butter and sugar together with the flavorings is a tip I always do now a la Alice Medrich--as well as keeping a ruler around : )

56 grams rolled oats (about a 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons)
32 grams all purpose flour (1/4 cup)

1/2 tsp fresh orange zest
1/4 tsp cardamom (slightly heaped)
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp sea salt (slightly heaped)
25 grams (2 Tablespoons) granulated sugar
55 grams (1/2 stick) good unsalted butter, room temp

Turbinado/flake salt to sprinkle
1-2 ounces dark chocolate

Method:

In a 325 oven, toast the oats for 8 minutes, until a little fragrant (can be done in advance if needed). Set aside to cool, then grind till powdery in a coffee grinder. Whisk oat flour and all purpose flour together.

In a mixer with the paddle, place butter, extract, zest, salt, sugar and spices. Blend on medium until light and fluffy, 2 minutes or so. Scrape down the sides and beat another few seconds.

Add flour in 2 additions. Scrape down between them a little, until the dough is just coming together and pulling away from the side of the bowl. It doesn't need to be all one mass. Look for chunks.

Dump dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, form into an even log 1 1/4 inches in diameter, and wrap. Chill 2 hrs.

To bake: oven to 350. Racks in top third and bottom third. Line 2 sheets with parchment. Slice the log into 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch thick coins, place on the sheet pans evenly apart. Sprinkle each with a few grains of sugar, a flake of salt if desired, then dock each coin with a fork once or twice.

Bake 18-22 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and back to front, about 12 minutes in, until golden at the edges and firm to touch. Cool on the pan 5 minutes on a rack, then slide parchment to rack to cool completely.

To dip in chocolate, melt half of chocolate in a double boiler, then slowly add the rest off the heat , stirring vigorously after each addition to cool it down. Dip in shortbreads and let set up completely, an hour or so.


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